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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Long Beach Was Focused In Its New Catalina Channel Record

"The Catalina Channel is in our backyard," said Hank Wise just hours before his relay attempted the 20.2-mile Catalina Channel. "Long Beach needs to rally around this beautiful channel. We need to own it."

And that they did. The Long Beach Swim Focus Catalina Relay set the new overall world record across the Catalina Channel in 6:53:04 this early California morning.

The relay of fit masters swimmers who took a keen surfer's approach to the channel broke the overall record set by U.S.A. National Team in 1989 with a time of 7:02:45.

The masters athletes, all locals from Long Beach, California, are former collegiate swimmers who have stayed in good shape over the years - a testament to their love of swimming and healthful living - found their Fountain of Youth in the Pacific Ocean.

The swimmers, who often gaze across the Catalina Channel in the course of their daily lives, included Hank Wise (age: 43), Dr. Lyle Nelli (51), Ted Bramble (40), Matt Mitchell (44), Parks Wesson (50) and Lexie Kelly (24). The alternate swimmer was Samantha Sears with paddlers Benjamin Landis and Matt Landis never leaving their side. Captain Greg Wise on El Goofy out of Dana Point escorted the team who never wavered from the rhumb line.

Hank took off from the San Vicente Lighthouse, flanked by his paddler and the 32-foot escort sailboat. Lyle went next and the team sensed the night was going to be theirs. "Ocean conditions were rough at the start, but got nicer as the sun set and the moon begins to shine," explained Wise who studied the channel and its conditions like the die-hard surfer he is. "We received the benefit from a light offshore breeze.

We picked our start time to match up to the beginning of an outgoing low tide which often makes a subtle current towards Catalina
."

He was definitely trying to channel the local community's positive energy before the start - and the good karma they received definitely helped. "We channeled dolphin energy to see us through...our friends gave us a chest bump, kissed their knuckles and pointed their index fingers to the sky - we felt their good vibes. They all knew that we will be out there on the channel, carrying their love in our hearts on this moonlit night in an excellent aquatic experience!"

The team started and finished in the dark, boated over to the Isthmus and celebrated by a bonfire.

But training hard was only part of the successful equation. As surfers, Wise and Mitchell poured over data and analyzed the water movements over time. They selected this date due to a variety of factors. "The conditions were pretty rough in the beginning, but we were patient and knew that we were riding a gentle outflow of water away from the shore," explained Wise. "Both Hank and Lyle, our second swimmer, got banged around in the first two legs, but after looking at all the data with our pilot Captain Greg, we were counting on a fast swim. We never got off more than 60 feet from the rhumb line. About a third through my leg (as the third swimmer), the ocean ironed out and we took a straight hot into Diver's Bench where Hank finished up on the rocks."

Their patience proved to be their strength as each of the swimmers kept driving towards the finish. The lead-off swimmer Hank, under very rough conditions, swam 2.2 miles through white-capped waters. Second swimmer Dr. Nelli, facing only slightly less rough conditions and some ocean rollers, swam 2.6 miles. Third swimmer Mitchell got the benefit of the night's growing tranquility and was able to swim a third under increasingly calm conditions, completing 2.7 miles. Bramble, the fourth swimmer, was riding fast on the ironed-out Pacific and swam 3.0 miles. Wesson, flying even faster on a calm channel, completed 3.2 miles. Kelly did another 3 miles closing in on Catalina with continued calm. Wise then finished off the world record swim with a 53-minute sprint to Barnacle Beach at Doctor's Cove.

"It was a beautiful night [out on the Catalina Channel]", recalled Mitchell. "It was nearly a full moon and we could see Catalina the entire way, right from the start. As we left the lights of Long Beach, Catalina's silhouette was always within our vision."

It was certainly a sight/site to behold on their world record relay.

Top photo shows the entire team. Second photo shows Hank Wise. Third photo shows Dr. Lyle Nelli getting ready to get in.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

3 comments:

  1. Love it!!! Great job and thanks for the awesome article Steve!!!! Stacey Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great swim, Team! Making it in under seven hours has never before been done and we are all proud of you. Catalina seems a little closer now.


    himself1939

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations to all .... a great swim indeed!....I was thinking the overall record was held by a US National Team from 1989 that posted a time of 7:02:45 ... I remember Jim McConica landing in "McConica's Cove" just over the 7 hour mark following an eventful night of swimming

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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